Your Views: Microsoft on the comeback trail?


Last Friday, Microsoft made the beta of its new operating system Windows 7 available online. The response was so strong that Microsoft was forced to add servers and remove its download restrictions.

Combined with our positive first impressions of its Azure platform-based Live Mesh offering and its improved Live services applications, we dared to suggest in our newsletter that these are signs that - after all the negative press from Vista - Microsoft could be heading for a big comeback.

But judging from our inbox, not everyone was as certain. The Vista experience seems to have burnt the fingers of Keith, who says he won't be rushing to download Windows 7.

"I don't think I will upgrade my Microsoft software in the future. I'm running 64-bit Vista at the moment and I've installed SP1 about three times, two by Microsoft auto downloads and once by disc and each time my system has crashed so I've had to uninstall it each time.

"In a nutshell I don't trust Microsoft anymore and will seriously consider using something else in future - trouble is I'm a bit lazy and think XP was their best."

Surely it would be worthwhile to download the Windows 7 beta and see if things have improved? Hmm, you could be missing out there Keith.

John also says that he got burnt by Microsoft's current OS, referring to it as a case of the "Vista Blisters" (we like that) and saying that it should never have been released in its original state. However, he tells us that, "Today after all the patching, if forced between XP and Vista, I would go with Vista, as it is now stable and it does have some very good features which can now shine through."

As for Windows 7, he quotes his techie friend who observes, "In short, I like it (and I've hated all the new releases of Windows since '95) it does what I want and does it nicely (and quickly). What's the betting that they'll cock it up and turn it into junk before RTM? ;)"

Finally, John gave us his views on Microsoft's other cash cow Office.

"Yes, I'm looking forward to Windows 7 but I'm not so sure about that other "pillar" of its business, Office. The truth is that apart from cosmetics, the steam and progress behind any generic office software', evaporated a very long time ago so I don't see that taking MS anywhere. I run one copy of Office 2007 but mainly use Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird as my primary applications in those areas. Going to "on-line" services is the way they need to go and mix free services with monthly paid "premium ones" might get them a better income stream."

Finally, in response to our question, "So are you excited about Microsoft's future direction or is the company still the devil incarnate?", Sally S simply replied, "Neither... I just prefer Macs."

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.